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NCS powered by JLGB social action week round up!

Week 3 of NCS powered by JLGB is Social Action Week. Each team uses the skills they have developed during the previous two weeks and the money awarded to them based on their 'Dragon's Den' pitches to launch their social action campaign on a topic that matters to them.

We are proud that this year we have five innovative social action projects that are making a difference in local communities and across wider society. Even though the programme itself has now finished, the impact the groups have had on society, and the bonds they have created with each other, will last for years to come. For this we wanted to extend a huge congratulations to all of the participants and team leaders.  

It's been an amazing few weeks with some phenomenal social action projects which you can read more about below.

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NCS powered by JLGB social action week round up!

Week 3 of NCS powered by JLGB is Social Action Week. Each team uses the skills they have developed during the previous two weeks and the money awarded to them based on their 'Dragon's Den' pitches to launch their social action campaign on a topic that matters to them.

We are proud that this year we have five innovative social action projects that are making a difference in local communities and across wider society. Even though the programme itself has now finished, the impact the groups have had on society, and the bonds they have created with each other, will last for years to come. For this we wanted to extend a huge congratulations to all of the participants and team leaders.  

It's been an amazing few weeks with some phenomenal social action projects which you can read more about below.

JLGB proudly presents ... 
NCS Social Action Projects 2017

The Digital Group - FDLB
Follow @imjustmeFDLB

FDLB have been tackling gender stereotypes. They've taken social media by storm with their hastags #imjustme and #smashingstereotypeswhile sharing insightful articles about gender stereotypes by experts and created a short film and informative posters to hand out to the public to challenge their perception of gender stereotypes. They're taking their project to the next level by already thinking to the future and creating lesson plans to be delivered in schools. 
Support their cause by sharing your thoughts on social media using the #imjustme hashtag

The Photography Group - Wild Cats
Follow @BTDncs

The Wild Cats got all dressed up in traditional dress from different faiths in a fashion show for their social action project called Bridging the Division. The aim of their multi-faith fashion show was to celebrate the diversity of their group and promote social cohesion and tolerance. They also created education pamphlets to sell to the audience of over 100 people raising a phenomenal £500 for interfaith charities.
Support their cause by donating 
HERE

The Sport Group - All Stars 
Follow @allstarfitnessncs

Team All Stars set out to prove to the public the enormous benefits exercise has on mental health. They achieved this by encouraging members of the public to power their smoothie bikes while visiting their stall in the busy metropolis of Brunswick Square. This had the added benefit of producing healthy, tasty smoothies while fundraising for mental health charity, Mind.
Support their cause by donating HERE 

The Catering Group - The Lamb Sauce
Follow @project_brownie

The Lamb Sauce team has been busy baking delicious brownies and packaging them with a comic strip whose central character that has autism. Through their brownies and comic strip, the catering group aim to illustrate to members of the public what life is like through the eyes of a person with autism. They've been selling their brownies to raise funds for Mencap and The National Autism Society.
Support their cause by donating
 HERE

The Film Group - Team Something
Follow @crylikeaman

 Its been all lights, camera and action for Team Something, they've created a film to challenge the stigma associated with mental health in males such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders. With support from charity, The Mix, Team Something hope to show men everywhere that having a mental health problem does not make them any less of a man and to teach people how to be supportive to a friend or family member who is suffering from a mental health condition. They've been publicising their film on social media using their hashtag #crylikeaman.
Support their cause by donating HERE 
Watch their video below 


Register your interest in joining NCS powered by JLGB 2018 by emailing NCS@jlgb.org 

The Digital Group - FDLB
Follow @imjustmeFDLB

FDLB have been tackling gender stereotypes. They've taken social media by storm with their hastags #imjustme and #smashingstereotypeswhile sharing insightful articles about gender stereotypes by experts and created a short film and informative posters to hand out to the public to challenge their perception of gender stereotypes. They're taking their project to the next level by already thinking to the future and creating lesson plans to be delivered in schools. 
Support their cause by sharing your thoughts on social media using the #imjustme hashtag

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NCS powered by JLGB skills week round up!

We can't believe that it is now the end of another week of our NCS Powered by JLGB Programme. What a week it has been!

Each morning participants have been taking part in workshops delivered by industry experts related to their chosen skill. On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon each group went out and about visiting various businesses and charities, learning about how they operate and picking up new skills along the way. The aim of Skills Week is to empower participants with the ideas and knowledge they need ahead of the launch of their social action projects next week.

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NCS powered by JLGB skills week round up!

We can't believe that it is now the end of another week of our NCS Powered by JLGB Programme. What a week it has been!

Each morning participants have been taking part in workshops delivered by industry experts related to their chosen skill. On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon each group went out and about visiting various businesses and charities, learning about how they operate and picking up new skills along the way. The aim of Skills Week is to empower participants with the ideas and knowledge they need ahead of the launch of their social action projects next week.

Photography Group - The Wild Cats 

Our photography group were lucky enough to visit Crisis, a charity that works to combat homelessness, and Autograph ABPHighlights included being part of an English lesson taught to homeless people and an all inclusive tour of Crisis, learning how each department works to achieve their aim, as well as looking around the Autograph gallery and learning all the techniques needed for that perfect shot from professional photographers. For their social action project the group have chosen to celebrate the diversity within their own group that reflects the diversity of society. They will be hosting and photographing a glamorous interfaith fashion show featuring traditional dress and make up to teach people that regardless of their religion or what they look like, they are still beautiful and accepted. 

Catering Group - The Lamb Sauce 

The Catering group, had a brilliant afternoon at London's oldest market, Borough Market in Southwark. Participants learnt about the market's 1,000 year history, got to learn about getting into the catering industry from a trader and had a private tour of the market. Their second visit was to FareShare, a food redistribution charity, where the young people volunteered to sort 15 pallets of food, which could equate to approximately 17,000 meals for young people in need across London. The catering group are going to focus their social action project on raising money and awareness for autism by baking and selling brownies for the National Autism Society that will be packaged with useful information and advice about autism and how it can affect individuals, including an awareness comic.

Digital Group - FDLB

The digital group were lucky enough to visit Twitter UK, meeting key people and exploring their career paths and how they got where they are during a behind the scenes tour. Their second visit was to The Mix charity where they learnt how digital skills are used to support young people facing challenges that range from mental health to housing. Their social action topic will be addressing labels and stereotypes and how damaging they can be to an individual. They plan to use their digital expertise to get their social action campaign hashtags, #imjustme and #smashingstereotypes to go viral and smash gender stereotypes. 

Sport and Fitness Group - All Stars 

Sports and Fitness group met with Kick It Out and learnt about discrimination and inclusivity within sport. Learning about the gender gap in sport, at their charity visit to Sport England, they watched the #thisgirlcan campaign and discussed encouraging women to participate in sport and were treated to a practical coaching session around the table tennis table! Discussing what makes a meaningful volunteering project inspired the group to focus their social action project on mental health and the huge benefit sport and fitness can have to improve mental health. 

The Filming Group - Team Something 

Our film-making group went to Media Trust and ITN Productions where they were given the chance to see the behind the scenes operation of two leading organisations. At ITN, the group experienced first-hand the day to day life of an ITV News presenter. Sitting in the studio where the news is recorded the group heard about apprenticeship opportunities available! At Media Trust, our group were impressed by tips shared on how to produce high quality footage from their mobile phones. They will be using these new tricks and techniques to challenge the stigma associated with mental health in the male community for their social action project. The group aims to raise awareness with an original film to educate the public on this important issue. 

The 'Dragon's Den'

We were delighted to be joined by a panel of 'Dragon's' who listened to each groups social action pitches and awarded money to each group to help them launch and deliver their projects next week. The 'Dragon's' were Jenny Woodrow from the NCS TrustLaura-Jane Rawlings from Youth Employment UK, and our very own JLGB CEO, Neil Martin OBE. The judges were truly inspired by the causes that the groups have chosen to support and were amazed at how well the participants had considered all of the different elements needed to deliver a successful project.

We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our industry experts who facilitated workshops, organised and hosted visits and sat on the panel, you have all helped to inspire and empower the young participants to go out and create change within their communities, for this we are truly grateful. We can't wait to see the projects in action next week and wish the participants the very best of luck. 

WEEK 3... What's happening?

In Week 3 participants will work together in their groups to create and deliver their own Social Action Project using the money that was awarded by our panel of 'Dragon's'

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NCS powered by JLGB adventure week round up!

As week 1 of NCS Powered by JLGB comes to a close we wanted to update all our friends and supporters of JLGB's unique and award winning National Citizen Service programme on what a brilliant week it has been so far.

With over 70 young people from a mix of faiths and cultural backgrounds, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and Hindu, there is a real buzz amongst the group. JLGB's unique faith sensitive provision removes barriers to participation to ensure that all young people can fully engage in NCS without compromising their individual beliefs or values while bringing together a social mix of young people who may have never met before. 

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NCS powered by JLGB adventure week round up!

As week 1 of NCS Powered by JLGB comes to a close we wanted to update all our friends and supporters of JLGB's unique and award winning National Citizen Service programme on what a brilliant week it has been so far.

With over 70 young people from a mix of faiths and cultural backgrounds, including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and Hindu, there is a real buzz amongst the group. JLGB's unique faith sensitive provision removes barriers to participation to ensure that all young people can fully engage in NCS without compromising their individual beliefs or values while bringing together a social mix of young people who may have never met before. 

During Adventure Week, each morning, the participants took part in a variety of adventure and team building activities including: ariel runway, off road biking, high ropes, climbing, caving and kit kart racing. This year's participants were lucky to pilot two brand new water sport activities: crabbing and rib riding. One group even sighted the incredibly rare porpoise, a dolphin-like creature that only comes out a few times a year!


All of the young participants have really bonded and have been able to strengthen their own personal and collective identities through our daily social cohesion sessions. Already participants have grown in confidence and have been sharing their thoughts and reflections each day within their teams. Our evening entertainment sessions included African drumming workshops, quizzes, and football zorbing. 

WEEK 2... What's happening?

In Week 2 participants will visit businesses and charities related to their chosen skill and see first-hand how they can use this skill to contribute to society.

Industry experts will also be on hand to deliver Skills Development Sessions so that participants are fully equipped to pitch their own Social Action Project to our panel of expert 'Dragons' that they will then deliver during Week 
3.
 

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JLGB SEEK CORPORATE PARTNERS

Corporate partnerships are a vital revenue stream for the JLGB and companies like Creative Skills have had a major impact on young people as part of their corporate social responsibility. Through benefit in kind and donation of services and time we are able to provide more activities that reach the entire Jewish community. This includes providing a comprehensive range of local weekly activities, national awards and international programmes, all designed to remove barriers and engage thousands of young people.

Instead of offering 'off the shelf' packages, we work with each corporate partner to look at the shared values of our organisations and discuss how a partnership can support young people while bringing mutual benefit to society and enhancing the partners’ business profile through corporate social responsibility.

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JLGB SEEK CORPORATE PARTNERS

Corporate partnerships are a vital revenue stream for the JLGB and companies like Creative Skills have had a major impact on young people as part of their corporate social responsibility. Through benefit in kind and donation of services and time we are able to provide more activities that reach the entire Jewish community. This includes providing a comprehensive range of local weekly activities, national awards and international programmes, all designed to remove barriers and engage thousands of young people.

Instead of offering 'off the shelf' packages, we work with each corporate partner to look at the shared values of our organisations and discuss how a partnership can support young people while bringing mutual benefit to society and enhancing the partners’ business profile through corporate social responsibility.

There are many ways in which corporates can support JLGB, with opportunities ranging from printing our Summer Camp or Israel Tour t-shirts and purchasing or hiring instruments or equipment to larger scale projects such as sponsoring a minibus, supporting our Duke of Edinburgh's Award provision or offering pro bono support including digital expertise.

One of our most outstanding corporate partners is Creative Skills who have helped us build the evolve digital platform which is the backbone of JLGB’s ‘evolve – youth volunteering and skills initiative’.

The evolve platform streamlines the way young people are matched to volunteering placements and record their experiences. evolve is unique because it aligns volunteering and social action projects to national awards such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, vinspired and NCS, creating an age progressive journey for young people to fully access the rewards and recognition they deserve.

Talking about evolve, JLGB Chief Executive, Neil Martin OBE recently said;

“Addressing the gap between education and the workplace, evolve uses digital technology to match young people with opportunities based on the skills, interests and career ideas that they currently have and would like to learn. Built into evolve are the necessary tools to help young people discover opportunities and increase their awareness of other activities, awards and recognition which they can pursue. More importantly, evolve’s collective impact provides parents, charities, schools, youth groups and businesses with the tools to encourage the young people they work with to access these opportunities, activities and awards, and manage their progress to see these through to their completion.”

Discussing the partnership, Director of Creative Skills, Pramod Nahata said:

“Creative Skills are delighted to do some corporate social responsibility and it is great for our team to build a website and do programming for a charity that is doing so much to benefit the future of young people. It has been a pleasure to work with the JLGB team to make the evolve dream a reality.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Pramod and his team of programmers, for everything they have done to support JLGB and help us revolutionise volunteering.

JLGB have exciting plans to expand, reach and provide even more Jewish young people with a positive future, but we need more corporate partners to help us to achieve our mission. If you are interested to discuss how your company or organisation can partner with JLGB through benefit in kind or corporate sponsorship please email getinvolved@jlgb.org or call the office on 020 8989 8990.

Creative Skills produce websites for many organisations in the Jewish community, as well as in the corporate sector, and are also specialists in building apps for businesses. See more of their work at www.creativeskills.com.

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Community Organisations Join Chief Rabbi To Congratulate Yoni Jesner Award Recipients

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis stood before a packed auditorium and told the crowd how humbled he was by the thousands of hours of good deeds collectively achieved by every winner of the Yoni Jesner Awards 2017; the acts of kindness award for 11-13 year olds, powered through JLGB’s evolve initiative.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis said:

“Being kind and volunteering is just not a policy to have in life but rather something that genuinely flows from your hearts and that is why the Yoni Jesner Awards are so precious within our community. It was so moving for me to hear Marsha Gladstone’s address to see members of the Jesner family here this evening, and to recognize the connection with JLGB.”

Since the launch of the Yoni Jesner Awards in 2014, over 2000 young people have contributed a phenomenal 25,000 hours of volunteering for charities and good causes across the UK, with 17 schools and youth groups taking part nationally.

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Community Organisations Join Chief Rabbi To Congratulate Yoni Jesner Award Recipients

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis stood before a packed auditorium and told the crowd how humbled he was by the thousands of hours of good deeds collectively achieved by every winner of the Yoni Jesner Awards 2017; the acts of kindness award for 11-13 year olds, powered through JLGB’s evolve initiative.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis said:

“Being kind and volunteering is just not a policy to have in life but rather something that genuinely flows from your hearts and that is why the Yoni Jesner Awards are so precious within our community. It was so moving for me to hear Marsha Gladstone’s address to see members of the Jesner family here this evening, and to recognize the connection with JLGB.”

Since the launch of the Yoni Jesner Awards in 2014, over 2000 young people have contributed a phenomenal 25,000 hours of volunteering for charities and good causes across the UK, with 17 schools and youth groups taking part nationally.

Powered by JLGB, in partnership with the Yoni Jesner Foundation, the award honours the memory of Yoni Jesner, a passionate volunteer from Glasgow who was tragically killed in a bus bomb in Tel Aviv in 2002, at just 19 years of age. This October marks 15 years since Yoni’s death, so it is especially poignant that Yoni’s twin nieces, Chloe and Leora Jesner, the first in the next generation of Jesners, participated in the award this year. Following in their uncle’s footsteps both girls went the extra mile completing not only the 20 hour award but also the 50 hour plus award.

 Chloe and Leora are among the hundreds of young people who have completed the Yoni Jesner award and other national achievement awards through evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering and skills initiative. The evolve digital platform allows young people to search for youth friendly volunteering opportunities in their local area that matches their skills and interests, in addition to tracking their achievements all in one place. As young people progress through the school years they can record their volunteering experiences on evolve and complete other nationally recognised awards and accreditations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, vinspired awards and Open College Network accreditations.

Darcy Jarvie, student from JCoSS and participant in the 20 Award, said:

The Yoni Jesner Award has encouraged us to open our eyes, and understand that there are people in this world who are less fortunate than ourselves, which spurred us on to take part in meaningful volunteering projects.”

 

To mark the 15th anniversary new branding was unveiled to represent the Yoni Jesner Award and its new digital and interactive look. The simple but extremely recognisable re-appropriated peace sign uses the 2 raised fingers to symbolise the achievement of 20 hours while subtly incorporating a Y and J to encourage participation and create a vibrant, modern and youthful aesthetic.

Marsha Gladstone, the mother of Yoni, who set up the Yoni Jesner Foundation, said:

“You are giving your own time, and you’re giving 

with your heart, and those hours of time and that caring from the heart are more precious than anything. That is why I am so proud of you, and so proud to associate Yoni’s name with this project, because this way of giving is truly what Yoni was all about. It’s a particularly special and meaningful year for us as a family, with Leora and Chloe being the very first of my grandchildren to do the Yoni Jesner Award. This year is also extra special because we are introducing our new Yoni Jesner Foundation branding, it’s amazing how such a simple logo can convey so much.”

Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said:

“I think these inspirational young people who have achieved the award show our entire community the power of Yoni’s values and that our future is very much safe in their hands. We look forward to supporting them on to the next step in their evolve journey by taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We are truly grateful to the Yoni Jesner Foundation for their partnership, which keeps the memory of Yoni Jesner alive and inspires thousands of young people to do more and give more.”

During the evening, Sam Clifford, Director of the Yoni Jesner Foundation, announced this year’s Yoni Jesner Scholar as Rachel Cooklin. The award will enable the 18-year-old head girl from Yavneh College in Borehamwood to spend a year in Israel, before heading to Birmingham University to study history.

See more pictures from the event HERE

Next year’s Yoni Jesner Awards will launch after Sukkot. If you or your child is in school years 7 or 8, now is a great time to sign up at www.jlgb.org/yonijesner

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14 Year Old Maya Supports Asylum Seekers Through Yoni Jesner Award

At first it was difficult for JCoSS student Maya Lachmann to ask complete strangers what size socks they needed. She thought it might be embarrassing for the recipient to be asked such an intrusive question by a 14 year old girl such as herself. But showing maturity far beyond her years, Maya quickly realised it was not embarrassing at all. At the New North London Synagogue’s Asylum Seeker’s Drop In, socks along with other basic necessities were in high demand.

Once a month, Maya volunteers at The New North London Synagogue which is transformed into a safe haven for hundreds of asylum seekers, giving them an opportunity to pick through kindly donated clothing, toiletries and other basic necessities of which they are in dire need.  Maya helps set up and distribute clothing as part of her Yoni Jesner Award which she completes through evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative.  The Yoni Jesner Award is a community volunteering award in memory of the late Yoni Jesner. The award challenges 11-13 year olds to channel Yoni’s giving nature by selflessly giving 20 hours of their time to help out in their communities.

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14 Year Old Maya Supports Asylum Seekers Through Yoni Jesner Award

At first it was difficult for JCoSS student Maya Lachmann to ask complete strangers what size socks they needed. She thought it might be embarrassing for the recipient to be asked such an intrusive question by a 14 year old girl such as herself. But showing maturity far beyond her years, Maya quickly realised it was not embarrassing at all. At the New North London Synagogue’s Asylum Seeker’s Drop In, socks along with other basic necessities were in high demand.

Once a month, Maya volunteers at The New North London Synagogue which is transformed into a safe haven for hundreds of asylum seekers, giving them an opportunity to pick through kindly donated clothing, toiletries and other basic necessities of which they are in dire need.  Maya helps set up and distribute clothing as part of her Yoni Jesner Award which she completes through evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative.  The Yoni Jesner Award is a community volunteering award in memory of the late Yoni Jesner. The award challenges 11-13 year olds to channel Yoni’s giving nature by selflessly giving 20 hours of their time to help out in their communities.

Each group of asylum seekers are allotted five minutes to look through the donations and pick clothes. Maya explains that “generally they just took whatever fit them.” Maya approaches the asylum seekers, asks them what they are looking for and what size they need before sifting through the donations to find something suitable.

Emphasising how good the cause is and how friendly the New North London Synagogue staff are, Maya, very sternly, tells me “there needs to be more donations”.  She explains that despite all the generous donations hardly anything was left at the end, something that made Maya reflect on her own life.  Solemnly, she describes the tatters of the asylums seekers possessions “one rucksack with very little in it” compared to the “unlimited selection” she has at home.

Although it made Maya sad to see the reality of asylum seekers lives, exclaiming “They didn’t even have underwear!”, she also described feeling empowerment at being able to help, describing her volunteering experience as “a privilege”. Even from our brief conversation, Maya’s pride of volunteering was evident.  She said: “It made me feel really good that I was helping lots of people”.  Likening her volunteering experience to that feeling of giving someone a present, Maya explains that it feels better to give one than to get one.  She enjoys talking to lots of new people and thinks that she can now speak to a wider variety.  Maya continues to make a positive impact on society every month by volunteering at the Asylum Seekers’ Drop in. She enjoys her volunteering so much that next month she is bringing her friend with her.

Thank you Maya for everything you’ve done! We wish you luck in completing your Yoni Jesner Award.

As told to Shani Reback, evolve intern. 

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Social Action at the Heart of JLGB this Purim

On Radlett High Street a young boy dressed as Harry Potter embraces a friend clad in a green Power Ranger costume. Draped over their arms are bags full of similarly ridiculous costumes which the unlikely duo are donating on behalf of their JLGB weekly group to underprivileged communities in Israel. Similar events occur all over the UK ranging as far as a pirate in Glasgow to a witch in Leeds, as JLGB weekly groups unite in this social action project.


The project was headed by Shir and Asmara this year’s JLGB Israeli Emissaries, the shinshinim, to embrace the giving atmosphere of Purim and Israeli good deed day, Yom Maasim Tovim. Combining the two celebrations, the shinshinim challenged JLGB members to an inter-weekly groups costume competition and to donate old costumes to vulnerable communities in Israel. The initiative was promoted across social media using the hashtag #JLGBPurim with Mill Hill crowned as the best dressed. The project accumulated exceptional results with the donation box overflowing with costumes of all shapes and sizes.

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Social Action at the Heart of JLGB this Purim

On Radlett High Street a young boy dressed as Harry Potter embraces a friend clad in a green Power Ranger costume. Draped over their arms are bags full of similarly ridiculous costumes which the unlikely duo are donating on behalf of their JLGB weekly group to underprivileged communities in Israel. Similar events occur all over the UK ranging as far as a pirate in Glasgow to a witch in Leeds, as JLGB weekly groups unite in this social action project.


The project was headed by Shir and Asmara this year’s JLGB Israeli Emissaries, the shinshinim, to embrace the giving atmosphere of Purim and Israeli good deed day, Yom Maasim Tovim. Combining the two celebrations, the shinshinim challenged JLGB members to an inter-weekly groups costume competition and to donate old costumes to vulnerable communities in Israel. The initiative was promoted across social media using the hashtag #JLGBPurim with Mill Hill crowned as the best dressed. The project accumulated exceptional results with the donation box overflowing with costumes of all shapes and sizes.


Elsewhere, an unidentifiable man in a goofy hat with a big wigged female delivered Purim Packages to residents at Jewish Blind and Disabled. These contained food parcels made by JLGB HQ together with Purim cards made by Year 8 Student at Hasmonean High School for Girls as part of their Yoni Jesner Awards. The residents were so grateful for their Purim gifts with one member recording a message on JLGBHQ snapchat asking whoever made her card to come forward so she could thank them in person. Another resident was a former JLGB member from the Stanmore Drum and Fife band. She was incredibly proud that JLGB were still so active in the community and participating in social action.

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The Memory Collectors - Dena Balkin and Tamar Neville

There’s a slight stillness in Dena’s voice as she tells me what first drew her to volunteering with Jewish Care’s ‘memory books’ opportunity, volunteering with people with dementia. She reflects on the things she values in her life saying “I have a really close connection to my friends and family. Feeling like I could forget everything, it makes me really sad.”

Dena Balkin and Tamar Neville aged 17 from Hasmonean High School for Girls visit a dementia ward once a week, in a Jewish Care facility in Golders Green as part of their vInspired Awards which they complete through evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative. They work together talking to the residents in the early stages of dementia, discovering their life stories and writing them down for the future, to be read when the crippling disease of dementia has progressed such that the residents are no longer able to remember their own past. Each week the girls speak to the same residents, building relationships, learning more about their lives and crafting a detailed book of memories. “They did so much from such a young age and all I do is play video games!” Dena says and even over the phone it’s clear how much both girls enjoy listening to the residents and how interesting they find their stories. 

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The Memory Collectors - Dena Balkin and Tamar Neville

There’s a slight stillness in Dena’s voice as she tells me what first drew her to volunteering with Jewish Care’s ‘memory books’ opportunity, volunteering with people with dementia. She reflects on the things she values in her life saying “I have a really close connection to my friends and family. Feeling like I could forget everything, it makes me really sad.”

Dena Balkin and Tamar Neville aged 17 from Hasmonean High School for Girls visit a dementia ward once a week, in a Jewish Care facility in Golders Green as part of their vInspired Awards which they complete through evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative. They work together talking to the residents in the early stages of dementia, discovering their life stories and writing them down for the future, to be read when the crippling disease of dementia has progressed such that the residents are no longer able to remember their own past. Each week the girls speak to the same residents, building relationships, learning more about their lives and crafting a detailed book of memories. “They did so much from such a young age and all I do is play video games!” Dena says and even over the phone it’s clear how much both girls enjoy listening to the residents and how interesting they find their stories.

The girls first heard about this opportunity at a JLGB evolve volunteering fair at their school last year. They spoke to a Jewish Care representative who listened to the girls’ interests and suggested this opportunity. “I love chatting to people. I’m quite creative and like to make things look pretty. This opportunity fits exactly with what I think I’m good at” explains Tamar.

Initially, Tamar was nervous. Having no previous experience volunteering with the elderly she feared it would be challenging. Indeed, it can be dispiriting to watch the residents deteriorate as their dementia progresses.  But Tamar need not have worried. Jewish Care supports every aspect of their volunteering. This includes an excellent training session prior to volunteering which taught the girls about dementia, prepared them for interacting appropriately with residents and even handy conversation starters. “They really do care, it’s in their name” Dena says. It is through this network of support and the support Dena and Tamar give each other that allows the girls to work as a team so efficiently. “Dena and I work really well together” Tamar tells me, she explains they keep conversation light and fluid to avoid residents becoming embarrassed when they can’t remember things.

Both girls find the experience rewarding and feel they have gained new skills. Dena thinks her communication skills have improved and Tamar told me she is more confident speaking with new people, skills they feel are applicable to other situations in life. As a future medicine candidate, Tamar feels that volunteering at Jewish Care has equipped her with many skills necessary for her desired profession. Having had to call on these same skills gained through her volunteering during her work experience on a stroke unit in a hospital, she thinks this makes her a stronger candidate for securing a place at medical school. 

Dena and Tamar love volunteering together and meeting more residents as the weeks go by. Even though they can’t be sure the residents remember them from week to week, Tamar thinks they do and likes making a difference to their days. Both girls recommend this opportunity to anyone who wants to make a difference in someone else’s life. Using evolve to find new placements and track their hours, both girls volunteer elsewhere including charities like Britsom and GIFT,  as well as volunteering in their local communities. We wish them the best of luck in completing their vInspired Awards and thank them for all their hard work!

As told to Shani Reback, evolve intern on 03/01/17 

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JLGB Showcase Youth Social Action to HRH The Prince of Wales at Landmark Yavneh College Visit

HRH The Prince of Wales spent the morning at Yavneh College in Hertfordshire on a visit designed to showcase the phenomenal amount of social action taking place at the school and across the community. The JLGB is proud that Yavneh College is a flagship partner school running the entire suite of JLGB social action programmes and awards across school years 7-13.

HRH was joined by JLGB President The Lord Levy and the Chief Rabbi at the visit which highlighted the social action undertaken by hundreds of pupils at the school, both inside and outside the classroom, through its strong partnership with the JLGB, which works alongside the school to provide an age-progressive framework of national volunteering awards. His Royal Highness was able to meet Yavneh award recipients from these JLGB programmes, including the Yoni Jesner AwardDuke of Edinburgh’s Award and National Citizen Service as well as meeting members of local JLGB groups in Hertfordshire.

JLGB is part of both the Youth United network, and the #iwill campaign for which HRH the Prince of Wales is their Patron and JLGB President, The Lord Levy serves on the Advisory Council.

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JLGB Showcase Youth Social Action to HRH The Prince of Wales at Landmark Yavneh College Visit

HRH The Prince of Wales spent the morning at Yavneh College in Hertfordshire on a visit designed to showcase the phenomenal amount of social action taking place at the school and across the community. The JLGB is proud that Yavneh College is a flagship partner school running the entire suite of JLGB social action programmes and awards across school years 7-13.

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HRH was joined by JLGB President The Lord Levy and the Chief Rabbi at the visit which highlighted the social action undertaken by hundreds of pupils at the school, both inside and outside the classroom, through its strong partnership with the JLGB, which works alongside the school to provide an age-progressive framework of national volunteering awards. His Royal Highness was able to meet Yavneh award recipients from these JLGB programmes, including the Yoni Jesner AwardDuke of Edinburgh’s Award and National Citizen Service as well as meeting members of local JLGB groups in Hertfordshire.

JLGB is part of both the Youth United network, and the #iwill campaign for which HRH the Prince of Wales is their Patron and JLGB President, The Lord Levy serves on the Advisory Council.

The Lord Levy and JLGB #iwill Ambassador, Shera Conway, aged 18 from Radlett Hertfordshire, presented a display of activities to His Royal Highness, giving him a flavour of what it means to be a JLGB member. In order to create well rounded and active citizens, all JLGB groups around the country follow six key life-enhancing principles, which teach transferable skills relevant to modern society, including Digital Skills, Leadership Development and Social & Emotional Wellbeing.

ll4 2The display particularly focussed on British citizenship and Jewish identity and how these traditions and values intertwine seamlessly to create proud British Jewish ambassadors and role models. This was showcased when Leslie Sutton Legion d’Honneur, a 92 year old British Jew who served in the RAF and landed on Omaha Beach during the Normandy Landings, shared his story with JLGB leaders during the visit. JLGB’s young Israeli Emissary, Shir Talmor, also taught cultural activities about the relationship between British and Hebrew words.

A new JLGB band, in collaboration with Yavneh’s music department, was also formed to mark the event, which will continue to teach woodwind, brass and percussion instruments to young people across Hertfordshire, funded by Youth United. The band, which was formed only a matter of weeks ago, performed for the first time at the event – no mean feat in front of a member of the Royal Family.

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JLGB were delighted to be joined on the day by other dignitaries including the Chief Rabbi, the President and Trustees of Yavneh College, Lindsay Levkoff Lynn, Chief Executive - Youth United Foundation, Sir Nick Parker, Chair - Step Up to Serve, Charlotte Hill, Chief Executive - Step Up to Serve and Dame Julia Cleverdon, Founder - Step Up to Serve.

The Lord Levy said:

"We were honoured that HRH the Prince of Wales visited Yavneh College today to see how our Jewish youngsters, through JLGB, are giving back to society through social action both inside and outside of the classroom. As President of the JLGB, I am extremely proud of everything JLGB does across all its local groups across and through the strong partnerships it has with all Jewish Schools across the country, to make social action accessible to young people of faith, especially at a time of so much uncertainty around the world. I simply cannot think of any better message and no better organisation than the JLGB that shows both our own community and wider society how you can be proud to be British and proud to be Jewish.  JLGB gives young people the tools and skills they need to navigate a digital and global world, empowering them to become‎ the innovative leaders of tomorrow who in turn then give back to society with abundance."

The Chief Rabbi said:

“I was proud to launch JLGB’s ‘evolve – young volunteering initiative’ just 3 years ago when I first became Chief Rabbi. To know that since then, over 6,000 Jewish young people have taken part in social action awards and character building programmes is truly remarkable. Today I saw this first hand through the wonderful partnership between Yavneh and JLGB, where hundreds of young people take part each year in the Yoni Jesner Award, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and National Citizen Service.”

Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said:

"Today has been a landmark day for Yavneh College and JLGB with HRH The Prince of Wales learning about the thousands of hours of social action undertaken by the youth of the Jewish community. All of JLGB’s character building opportunities ensure the religious and cultural requirements of our community are taken care of enabling Jewish young people to take a full and active part in British society through our age progressive journey of national awards including DofE, NCS, Vinspired and the Yoni Jesner Awards. None of this would be possible were it not for the invaluable contributions of our volunteers, professionals, partner schools and supporters the Pears Foundation and the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation who fund our youth social action programmes."

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Shera Conway, from Radlett Hertfordshire and JLGB's #iWill Youth Ambassador said:

"As JLGBs #iWill Ambassador, I was proud to have been given the honour to escort HRH andintroduce him to many of our young people and volunteers as he saw all the amazing activities that JLGB organise. JLGB is doing so much for the youth of today and helps us to give back to the world. Today was about young people and was led by young people with the support of JLGB adult volunteers and professionals - youth empowerment at its best!"

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Going Digital: JLGB Revolutionise Volunteering Fairs

 A distinctive tapping could be heard from school halls over the last few months. Fingers drumming on iPad screens and ‘click’ another sixth former has made an on-the-spot connection with a chosen charity. Long gone are the days of laborious form filling as evolve’s sixth form volunteering fairs take a technical twist. Easy to use iPads are providing the perfect platform for year 12 and 13 students to register their volunteering interest directly at the fair.

Volunteering is an excellent way to boost any CV or university application which is why evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative, has been holding volunteering fairs for 16-18 year olds at schools over the last few months. With a few school fairs still to go, sign ups to the vInspired awards (the next step on the evolve journey for sixth formers) are soaring with a remarkable 515 students across the country already enrolled.

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Going Digital: JLGB Revolutionise Volunteering Fairs

A distinctive tapping could be heard from school halls over the last few months. Fingers drumming on iPad screens and ‘click’ another sixth former has made an on-the-spot connection with a chosen charity. Long gone are the days of laborious form filling as evolve’s sixth form volunteering fairs take a technical twist. Easy to use iPads are providing the perfect platform for year 12 and 13 students to register their volunteering interest directly at the fair.

Volunteering is an excellent way to boost any CV or university application which is why evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative, has been holding volunteering fairs for 16-18 year olds at schools over the last few months. With a few school fairs still to go, sign ups to the vInspired awards (the next step on the evolve journey for sixth formers) are soaring with a remarkable 515 students across the country already enrolled.

The fairs give 16-18 year olds a chance to talk to a wide range of charities, matching the skills students want to learn and skills they have to give. There are a variety of volunteering opportunities which may be unique to the individual, sector or cause they wish to help and with just a few taps of an iPad the students connect to their charity of choice. This year saw more charities and opportunities than ever before bringing students hundreds of youth and faith friendly volunteering opportunities quite literally at their fingertips. A volunteering revolution that saw hundreds of connections made between sixth form students and charities at a fair held in Yavneh College in November.   

Norwood, a charity who  provides support to children with learning disabilities and their families, were present at all six fairs and got in touch to say: “Thank you JLGB for organising the evolve volunteers fair. Volunteering is so important in helping charities such as ours to continue providing vital services to the people we support. We would encourage all students to get involved in this great initiative and sign up to volunteer at www.jlgb.org/evolve

None of this would be possible without the support and backing of the Wohl Legacy who supported JLGB to pioneer the evolve youth volunteering and skills platform and which has already enabled over 8,000 young people to access volunteering in the last three years alone.

Thanks to a grant from the Oxford and St Georges Jewish Youth Trust, JLGB were able to purchase 24 iPads. This has been revolutionising JLGB activities across the whole organisation including with DofE, evolve, NCS and at weekly groups. They are taking interactivity to the next level. 

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Record Breaking Year For Yoni Jesner Award

An extraordinary 624 young people from 11 schools across the country have now signed up to the prestigious Yoni Jesner Award, eclipsing last year’s numbers with an 83% increase! By volunteering just 20 hours, students in years 7 and 8 are able to make a difference to their communities in ways they never imagined they could.  

The Yoni Jesner Award is brought to you by evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative, in collaboration with the Yoni Jesner Foundation. The award calls 11-13 year olds to experience the power of helping others in memory of the inspirational Yoni Jesner, who was killed aged 19 in a suicide bombing in Israel in 2002. Yoni proved that anyone can make a difference in this world no matter their age, which led to the inception of this award after his passing. Since then, tens of thousands of hours of good deeds have been completed by 11-13 year olds as part of the Yoni Jesner Award.

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Record Breaking Year For Yoni Jesner Award

An extraordinary 624 young people from 11 schools across the country have now signed up to the prestigious Yoni Jesner Award, eclipsing last year’s numbers with an 83% increase! By volunteering just 20 hours, students in years 7 and 8 are able to make a difference to their communities in ways they never imagined they could.  

The Yoni Jesner Award is brought to you by evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative, in collaboration with the Yoni Jesner Foundation. The award calls 11-13 year olds to experience the power of helping others in memory of the inspirational Yoni Jesner, who was killed aged 19 in a suicide bombing in Israel in 2002. Yoni proved that anyone can make a difference in this world no matter their age, which led to the inception of this award after his passing. Since then, tens of thousands of hours of good deeds have been completed by 11-13 year olds as part of the Yoni Jesner Award.

It’s only a month since Yoni’s mother Marsha Gladstone has launched the award but already young people have begun volunteering and logging their hours on evolve. JCoSS student Maya Lachmann, aged 13, volunteers monthly distributing clothes to refugees at the New North London Synagogue Asylum Seekers' Drop in.  She described her experience as “A privilege” and although she initially found it challenging to approach strangers, she now thinks this has strengthened her communication skills.

The number of volunteers are continuously rising and it is an incredibly proud moment to reach such record breaking numbers of participants; an achievement worthy of Yoni’s name.

Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said:

“All of us at JLGB are so proud to power the Yoni Jesner Awards through the evolve volunteering and skills initiative. Working together with the Yoni Jesner Foundation we are excited for all the upgrades we have made as we further digitise the award with even more features. Now, for the first time, young people can sign up, not just through their school, but alternatively through the charity they are volunteering at or the youth group or synagogue they belong to, each of whom will be able to view the collective impact their young people have made.”

Young people can now sign up directly through their chosen synagogue, youth group or charity on evolve. To register for the award, discover youth friendly volunteering projects, track hours and keep on target, please visit www.jlgb.org/yonijesner

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JLGB wins prestigious Mitzvah Day 'Biggest Impact Award' 2016

Over 600 handmade cards have been created by young members from local JLGB groups from up and down the UK to welcome refugees to Britain, winning the organisation the accolade of Biggest Impact Award 2016 in this year’s Mitzvah Day Awards.

 Hundreds of Jewish young people from JLGB groups in Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, and all across London made over 600 handmade welcome cards for unaccompanied refugee children as part of a national JLGB innovative programme specially designed for Mitzvah Day. These cards form the finishing touch to themuch needed welcome packs to help refugee children coming into the UK and will be distributed by The Separated Child Foundation.

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JLGB wins prestigious Mitzvah Day 'Biggest Impact Award' 2016

Over 600 handmade cards have been created by young members from local JLGB groups from up and down the UK to welcome refugees to Britain, winning the organisation the accolade of Biggest Impact Award 2016 in this year’s Mitzvah Day Awards.

Hundreds of Jewish young people from JLGB groups in Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, and all across London made over 600 handmade welcome cards for unaccompanied refugee children as part of a national JLGB innovative programme specially designed for Mitzvah Day. These cards form the finishing touch to themuch needed welcome packs to help refugee children coming into the UK and will be distributed by The Separated Child Foundation.

Laura Marks OBE, Founder of Mitzvah Day said "Mitzvah Day is about bringing people together and helping others, which is exactly what we saw JLGB members doing all over the country. The refugee crisis resonates with our Jewish community, and especially JLGB which was founded by Jewish refugees, so to see 500 young Jews making welcome cards for today's refugees was very special. So special in fact, that JLGB's project won the Mitzvah Day Biggest Impact Award - a richly deserved honour."

Joshua Diamond, JLGB's Programme Coordinator said "This project is especially poignant for our members because JLGB was created over 120 years ago to support young immigrant Jewish refugees to the UK".  JLGB has always been about removing barriers, originally helping Jewish refugees by teaching English and skills as well as providing food and clothing - now it's our duty and responsibility to do the same and help others."

Gia Nathan, JLGBs Director of Strategic Partnerships said: “Social action is at the heart of JLGB, where youngsters get involved in volunteering all year round. But Mitzvah Day provides a focal point for the year when thousands of young people make a collective impact, by doing good deeds to help others whilst developing their own skills, gaining experience and growing in character.”

 

Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said: "This is true National impact through local action only made possible by our passionate volunteer leaders and amazing young members at our local groups across the UK. To us, this award is recognition of the time, passion and hard work that our leaders put in on a weekly basis throughout the year to provide positive activities for Jewish Youth to empower them, give back and have a major impact in our Jewish community and across wider society."


It's been a mammoth week for JLGB, starting with the huge mitzvah that is AJEX Parade and then a whole week to celebrate both Mitzvah Day and #iwill week, where JLGB launched the Yoni Jesner Award, ran assemblies promoting Kosher DofE, and organised charity fairs to 6th Formers taking part in the vInspired award, all through evolve.

 

Thanks to funding from Wohl Legacy, evolve is JLGB's digital volunteering initiative that provides an overarching platform for young people across the community to take part in social action through national award schemes and accreditation. Through evolve JLGB will engage over 8,000 Jewish young people in social action this year.

 

Carry on your mitzvahs beyond the day and sign up for your next youth volunteering award at www.jlgb.org/evolve.

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The Jesner Twins: Yoni Jesner Volunteering Awards Inspires The Next Generation

Leora and Chloe Jesner, the twin nieces of the late Yoni Jesner, mark the beginning of their volunteering journey by starting the Yoni Jesner Volunteering Awards, adding to tens of thousands of hours of good deeds already completed in the name of their uncle. This is especially poignant as Leora and Chloe, aged 12 from Yavneh College are the first immediate family members of Yoni to take part in the award in honour of his memory.

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The Jesner Twins: Yoni Jesner Volunteering Awards Inspires The Next Generation

Leora and Chloe Jesner, the twin nieces of the late Yoni Jesner, mark the beginning of their volunteering journey by starting the Yoni Jesner Volunteering Awards, adding to tens of thousands of hours of good deeds already completed in the name of their uncle. This is especially poignant as Leora and Chloe, aged 12 from Yavneh College are the first immediate family members of Yoni to take part in the award in honour of his memory.

Enrolment for the Yoni Jesner Awards has now launched for this academic year, following inspiring assemblies from Yoni’s mother, Marsha Gladstone at schools all over the country. Yoni Jesner was killed in a suicide bombing on a bus in Israel in 2002. Yoni was an inspirational youth leader and true role-model for many young people, and his drive and determination led him to achieve more in his 19 years than many people do in a lifetime.

This is set to be a record-breaking year for the Yoni Jesner Awards, with over 500 young people already signed up since September. The scheme is managed by evolve, JLGB’s youth volunteering initiative, in partnership with the Yoni Jesner Foundation. Young people in school years 7 and 8 can take part in the award by volunteering as little as 20 hours, making a difference to the community throughout the year.

Thanks to evolve, young people can now sign up directly through their chosen synagogue, youth group or charity. To register for the award, discover youth friendly volunteering projects, track hours and keep on target visit www.jlgb.org/yonijesner

Leora Jesner said,

Last year we went to the ceremony and all we wanted to do was go up on stage and receive the award

Chloe Jesner said,

We are happy hearing the special things that the awards have achieved in our uncle’s name

Marsha Gladstone, Yoni’s mother, grandmother of the Jesner Twins said,

Yoni was a mixture of so many different things. On the one hand he was fun and zingy, had loads of different friends of all ages, backgrounds and religions and really loved people. Yet underneath all that there was a modest, more serious layer, helping others and volunteering in so many different ways.

Neil Martin OBE, JLGB Chief Executive said,

“All of us at JLGB are so proud to power the Yoni Jesner Awards through the evolve volunteering and skills initiative. Working together with the Yoni Jesner Foundation we are excited for all the upgrades we have made as we further digitise the award with even more features. Now, for the first time, young people can sign up, not just through their school, but alternatively through the charity they are volunteering at or the youth group or synagogue they belong to, each of whom will be able to view the collective impact their young people have made.”

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JLGB CEO, Neil Martin awarded OBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Congratulations to our inspirational JLGB Chief Executive Neil Martin who has been awarded an OBE for Services to Young People and Interfaith Relations. We couldn't be happier!!

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JLGB CEO, Neil Martin awarded OBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List

Lord Michael Levy, JLGB President said: “I am absolutely delighted at the recognition for Neil and his OBE. I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone connected with JLGB in that Neil has been a truly outstanding leader and professional, and has done wonderful work for young people in our community and of other faiths in wider society. It is very special that he has been recognised with an OBE.”

Norman Terret, JLGB Chairman added“This is wonderful news – this well-deserved honour is a reflection of everything that Neil continues to achieve on behalf of JLGB and the way in which he inspires generations of young people to become leaders and volunteers. This OBE is an honour for Neil Martin and for JLGB too – and we really are incredibly proud of him.”

Neil Martin said“I feel truly humbled, I still can’t believe it and I keep thinking of all the people who supported me throughout my journey. I’m so grateful to them all, especially everyone at JLGB and, of course, my family. Every day is a different adventure finding new ways to inspire young people, which has enabled the JLGB to now benefit thousands of young people all over the country to participate in positive youth activities without their religious or cultural needs being compromised.”

JLGB celebrated its 120th anniversary last year – and has gone through major changes since Neil took up the helm 11 years ago, modernising it to become a major national award winning charity.  

Some of the phenomenal JLGB achievements spearheaded by Neil include: expanding kosher Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provision across the Jewish community; creating the evolve volunteering and skills initiative – launched by HRH Prince Edward and the Chief Rabbi; and pioneering JLGB’s Interfaith National Citizen Service programme.

Stephen Greene, Chair of NCS Trust said: “We were thrilled to learn that the Queen has awarded Neil an OBE.  I can’t think of anyone more deserving.  Neil has been tireless in his advocacy for Jewish youth.  But, even more so for an interfaith NCS programme - that is now a smashing success.  So many young people will benefit from the experience of doing their NCS programme with their peers from different backgrounds."

Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve said: "Absolutely amazing, I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more than Neil. He’s really driven the youth social action movement within the Jewish community and has been a huge ambassador of the #iWill campaign since the beginning. I'm also personally delighted, he’s an awesome bloke to work with!"

Neil adds: “I am so proud of the achievements of the entire JLGB professional team, trustees and all our volunteers as we strive to help thousands more young people be prepared and succeed in a global digital world by helping them reach their individual potential and become the best possible versions of themselves.”

As well as supporting young people, Neil holds several other communal positions and is chairman of Yom HaShoah UK, which organised the recent Holocaust commemoration ceremony.  He also chairs the Inter Faith Youth Trust.

You can congratulate Neil on Twitter for this much deserved recognition at@NeilSMartin

 

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Chief Rabbi Humbled by Yoni Jesner Awards Ceremony on Volunteers' Week

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, stood before a packed auditorium at Arts Depot, North Finchley, and told the crowd how humbled he was by the 20+ hours of good deeds achieved by every winner of the Yoni Jesner Awards 2016; a JLGB-led volunteering scheme for school years 7-9

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Chief Rabbi Humbled by Yoni Jesner Awards Ceremony on Volunteers' Week

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, stood before a packed auditorium at Arts Depot, North Finchley, and told the crowd how humbled he was by the 20+ hours of good deeds achieved by every winner of the Yoni Jesner Awards 2016; a JLGB-led volunteering scheme for school years 7-9.

The Award scheme is managed by JLGB, in partnership with The Yoni Jesner Foundation, in memory of Yoni Jesner, a passionate volunteer from Glasgow, who was tragically killed in a bus bomb in Tel Aviv, 2002, at 19 years of age. JLGB have digitised the award scheme and are able to track the impact young volunteers make in the community. Since 2014, 1,218 young people have taken part and 17,157 hours of volunteering have been recorded in total, with students of 17 schools and youth groups taking part nationally.

Rabbi Mirvis said: “It is hard to believe that nearly 14 years have passed since Yoni Jesner was so tragically taken from us. And yet, this evening’s awards clearly demonstrate the extent to which his legacy has become such an important part of the fabric of the Jewish community.”

Marsha Gladstone, the mother of Yoni, who set up the Yoni Jesner Foundation, said:

“Nothing can bring Yoni back, but his life’s work has been handed on to you now, and I hope you will continue after having achieved your first Yoni Jesner Award and continue Yoni’s work into the years ahead.”

Neil Martin, CEO of JLGB, said: “I think these inspirational young people got together and showed the entire community the power of Yoni’s values and that our future is safe in their hands.

“We look forward to supporting them on to the next challenge such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and thank the Yoni Jesner Foundation for their partnership, which keeps the memory of Yoni Jesner alive.”

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JLGB breaks ground with Charity Seminar 'The Next Steps in Youth Volunteering'

JLGB’s evolve team welcomed over 30 professionals from a vast range of charities and organisations across the 3rd sector from the Jewish community and beyond, at their seminar ‘The Next Steps in Youth Volunteering’ at Jhub in Hampstead last Tuesday 8th March. People travelled from as far from Wales to attend the seminar that shared best practice around youth volunteering and social action. Young people often struggle to find suitable volunteering placements, JLGB’s evolve team help to remove any barriers by supporting charities to be faith sensitive and more youth friendly. 

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JLGB breaks ground with Charity Seminar 'The Next Steps in Youth Volunteering'

JLGB’s evolve team welcomed over 30 professionals from a vast range of charities and organisations across the 3rd sector from the Jewish community and beyond, at their seminar ‘The Next Steps in Youth Volunteering’ at Jhub in Hampstead last Tuesday 8th March. People travelled from as far from Wales to attend the seminar that shared best practice around youth volunteering and social action. Young people often struggle to find suitable volunteering placements, JLGB’s evolve team help to remove any barriers by supporting charities to be faith sensitive and more youth friendly.

Keynote speaker, Fiona Ellison, Voluntary and Public Sector Campaign Manager at Step Up To Serve said how thrilled she was to see how JLGB’s evolve frames the principles of the #iwill campaign.

The JLGB have been running the phenomenally successful Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for the last 60 years. This is rapidly becoming a rite of passage for Jewish teenagers with 51% taking part each year. However, many DofE participants told us how difficult it was to find a volunteering placement.  To remedy this issue JLGB not only work directly with charities by providing bespoke support and seminars to share best practice. JLGB have created evolve, an online platform that matches young people directly to exciting and relevant opportunities based on their skills, award level and location. What makes evolve truly unique is that young people can record all of their social action online and all in one place, removing old fashioned log books. Gia Nathan, JLGB’s Volunteering and Citizenship Manager explained “evolve is a revolution in youth volunteering, tracking a young person’s induvial journey from their Junior Citizenship Award at primary school, to their Yoni Jesner Award, Duke of Edinburgh’s, NCS, vInspired Award at secondary school and Vscheme at university.   JLGB is proud to work in partnerships with local, Jewish , National and Global organisations to help even more young people achieve their potential and take a full and active role in society.”

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Marsha Speaks to over a thousand Young People about Yoni

Marsha Gladstone mother of  Yoni Jesner, the 19 year old student killed in Israel in 2002 spoke to over a thousand  children across 7 Jewish secondary schools across the United Kingdom . Yoni was a truly inspiring young person who touched the lives of so many through his warmth and personality. Yoni was a straight ‘A’ student, Bnei Akiva Leader, tutor to younger students, the youngest volunteer at the Glasgow Jewish burial society and an aspiring medical student who secured a place to study medicine at UCL. He was an intern at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem and went to study at Yeshiva in Israel on his gap year. Tragically, Yoni was killed in a bus bombing in Tel Aviv in 2002 at just 19 years of age. Yoni’s family established the Yoni Jesner Foundation and The Award Scheme’s aim is to uphold Yoni’s legacy and honour his memory. 

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Marsha Speaks to over a thousand Young People about Yoni

Marsha Gladstone mother of  Yoni Jesner, the 19 year old student killed in Israel in 2002 spoke to over a thousand children across 7 Jewish secondary schools across the United Kingdom . Yoni was a truly inspiring young person who touched the lives of so many through his warmth and personality. Yoni was a straight ‘A’ student, Bnei Akiva Leader, tutor to younger students, the youngest volunteer at the Glasgow Jewish burial society and an aspiring medical student who secured a place to study medicine at UCL. He was an intern at Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem and went to study at Yeshiva in Israel on his gap year. Tragically, Yoni was killed in a bus bombing in Tel Aviv in 2002 at just 19 years of age. Yoni’s family established the Yoni Jesner Foundation and The Award Scheme’s aim is to uphold Yoni’s legacy and honour his memory.

The Yoni Jesner Award Scheme is managed by evolve, JLGB’S Youth Volunteering initiative.  This year over 300 young people have already started taking part in the Yoni Jesner Award, volunteering their time to help make a difference in their community. 

 

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Hasmonean Boys Help the Community

40 pupils in year 9 at Hasmonean Boys School in Hendon are helping to make a difference in the community every Monday afternoon. The initiative by the evolve team ensures that the pupils are able to achieve their Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, whilst taking an active role in the community and developing their employability skills.   Pupils volunteer during their Kodesh lessons every week and have had specific training to fully prepare them for their volunteering roles.  A vast range of charities are benefiting from British Heart Foundation to Shaare Zedek.  The projects include fundraising and campaigning as well as face to face volunteering with children with learning difficulties, Holocaust survivors and people in need.   

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Hasmonean Boys Help the Community

40 pupils in year 9 at Hasmonean Boys School in Hendon are helping to make a difference in the community every Monday afternoon. The initiative by the evolve team ensures that the pupils are able to achieve their Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, whilst taking an active role in the community and developing their employability skills.   Pupils volunteer during their Kodesh lessons every week and have had specific training to fully prepare them for their volunteering roles.  A vast range of charities are benefiting from British Heart Foundation to Shaare Zedek.  The projects include fundraising and campaigning as well as face to face volunteering with children with learning difficulties, Holocaust survivors and people in need.

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A Month of Mitzvahs for JLGB

JLGB Remembers the contribution of British Jews for the whole month of November through volunteering 

This Sunday (8th), local JLGB groups across England, Scotland and Wales will be supporting local remembrance services organised by town councils, the Royal British Legion and Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX). Hundreds of young Jewish people from local JLGB groups will be supporting their local Remembrance Sunday through its bands, stewards and in many other ways to lend a hand on the day.

 As well as this year being JLGB’s 120th anniversary, 2015 also marks 100 years since JLGB joined the War effort by affiliating to the cadet forces. Sadly, 535 members and leaders of the JLGB were killed in action, one third of the fatality list of British Jews who died in WW1.  


 

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A Month of Mitzvahs for JLGB

A Month of Mitzvahs for JLGB

JLGB Remembers the contribution of British Jews for the whole month of November through volunteering 

 This Sunday (8th), local JLGB groups across England, Scotland and Wales will be supporting local remembrance services organised by town councils, the Royal British Legion and Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (AJEX). Hundreds of young Jewish people from local JLGB groups will be supporting their local Remembrance Sunday through its bands, stewards and in many other ways to lend a hand on the day.

 As well as this year being JLGB’s 120th anniversary, 2015 also marks 100 years since JLGB joined the War effort by affiliating to the cadet forces. Sadly, 535 members and leaders of the JLGB were killed in action, one third of the fatality list of British Jews who died in WW1.  

 This is why on Sunday 15th November, JLGB will be so prominently involved in the national Jewish remembrance parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, organised in partnership with AJEX.  

 On Sunday 15th November, over 150 young people and adult volunteers will be out in force carrying banners, pushing wheelchairs, handing out leaflets, playing in the bands and marshalling this important British Jewish event. 

 If that wasn’t enough, the following Sunday (Mitzvah Day itself), JLGB young people and adult volunteers are being actively encouraged to give the community a helping hand and help at their local Mitzvah Day projects, including partnering with Tzedek and local projects, such as with Redbridge JCC.

 Over 2000 young Jewish people each year are supported by the JLGB to volunteer in the community whilst at the same time earning national achievement awards such as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.  This is spearheaded by JLGB’s pioneering ‘evolve – young volunteering initiative’ which was launched by the Chief Rabbi last year. 

 Phase two of the evolve online system is now ready and this month alone is set to enable 900 Jewish sixth formers to take part in the vInspired award and connect with over 100 charities - the phase two eVOLve site will go live to the community on Mitzvah Day itself to mark this important focal day for active volunteerism.

 Any young person volunteering for any organisation as part of Mitzvah Day should gain the recognition they deserve by registering for an evolve profile, which will allow them to count their hours against one of the many age progressive national youth volunteering awards, and continue to volunteer throughout the year.

 On Mitzvah Day (22nd Nov), check out the new evolve website at www.jlgb.org/evolve 

 For more information, please contact the evolve team by emailing evolve@jlgb.orgor calling 020 8989 5743.

 

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Young British Jews and Muslims Working Together in local communities

An audience of over 250 people, last night celebrated the achievements of 70 young people of all different faith backgrounds, united together after a JLGB led Interfaith National Citizens programme. The young people spent 3 weeks together this summer, starting with a week of adventure team building, social cohesion seminars exploring each other’s faiths and identities.  During the second week  they learnt specific skills from leading industry experts such as journalism, film making and digital skills. The final week culminated in each team using their new talents to make a tremendous impact and a positive contribution through creating and delivering their own social action projects supporting local charities and communities. The 70 graduates each received a certificate signed by Prime Minister David Cameron who wants all 16- 17 year olds to take part in this ‘rite of passage’. 

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Young British Jews and Muslims Working Together in local communities

An audience of over 250 people, last night celebrated the achievements of 70 young people of all different faith backgrounds, united together after a JLGB led Interfaith National Citizens programme. The young people spent 3 weeks together this summer, starting with a week of adventure team building, social cohesion seminars exploring each other’s faiths and identities.  During the second week  they learnt specific skills from leading industry experts such as journalism, film making and digital skills. The final week culminated in each team using their new talents to make a tremendous impact and a positive contribution through creating and delivering their own social action projects supporting local charities and communities. The 70 graduates each received a certificate signed by Prime Minister David Cameron who wants all 16- 17 year olds to take part in this ‘rite of passage’.

Mrs Hur, parent of 16 year old participant  said “the whole three weeks have been absolutely incredible for my daughter, she has not only made some incredible new friends from all different faiths and learnt such valuable insights into other cultures she has also done AMAZING activities that she could never have imagined doing and has gained self-confidence and pride in herself .  I am delighted that she has also been doing proper hands on social action projects because I think it is vital that she experiences how other people live because I want her to appreciate how fortunate she is and that she interacts with varied people of other faiths and lifestyles so that she is a decent and understanding person when she goes out into the world.”

JLGB’s Chief Executive, Neil Martin, has spent the last three years campaigning to government and the youth sector, to ensure the dream of a fully faith sensitive provision of NCS could become a reality and be accessible to all. Thanks to the support of the NCS Trust,

The JLGB was a awarded 2 national charity awards in 2012 for it’s fully faith friendly NCS programme, which enabled young people of all faiths and none to take part.  As experienced experts in overseeing large scale residential programmes, managing the logistics of running several multi-faith kitchens simultaneously to meet the needs of everybody’s specific dietary needs, offering single gender groups, providing space to pray and finishing the residential part of the programme in time for all participants to be at home with their families for Shabbat and Muslim Friday prayers was of utmost importance. In today’s current climate, it is essential that young people, our future leaders, have the opportunity to make friends with and work together with people from other faiths.

“I was so impressed by the young people, during their social cohesion session I saw a level of open-mindedness and maturity beyond anything I would have expected. They were respectful of each other and of the issues under discussion, and easily grasped complexities around concepts of identity and image. I heard the young people expressing sentiments that really highlighted why we do NCS at all: young people from closed religious communities who were surprised to find that they could relate to those from other faith backgrounds; young people who had never encountered alternative points of view who were eager to learn from everyone they met; young people who were having their preconceptions challenged and embracing it. For me the whole experience was inspiring, and I feel very lucky to have been welcomed to see these personal journeys first hand.” Charlotte Roberts, The Cabinet Office

For more information about Interfaith NCS , youth volunteering award schemes and social action projects please visit http://evolve.jlgb.org   or contact interfaithncs@jlgb.org or call us on 020 8989 5743

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Digital Champions are GO!

10 Tech Savvy teenagers with aspirations to work in the tech arena have volunteered to run digital social action projects in partnership with Jewish Interactive. In return they will receive monthly training from experts in the tech world such as Disney animators, Googlers and app developers. Through evolve, Digital Champions will be able to keep track of their scoial action projects online, working towards their vinspired award, a nationally recognised, UCAS endorsed award for 10,50 or 100 hours of volunteering, 

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Digital Champions are GO!

10 Tech Savvy teenagers with aspirations to work in the tech arena have volunteered to run digital social action projects in partnership with Jewish Interactive. In return they will receive monthly training from experts in the tech world such as Disney animators, Googlers and app developers. Through evolve, Digital Champions will be able to keep track of their scoial action projects online, working towards their vinspired award, a nationally recognised, UCAS endorsed award for 10, 50 or 100 hours of volunteering.

The champions will be initiating a range of projects including helping the elderly with technology, teaching e-safety tips and coding to younger children, making videos for charities and creating digital products for Jewish learning.

Daniel from Immanuel College was eager to get started "I am really keen to use my skills to help others.  Technology is the future. This is really needed and I am excited about this opportunity to make a difference". 

Sharon from JCoSS is going to be using her video making skills to help charities with their campaigns. 

Jewish Interative's Director, Chana Kansex is optimistic about the new initiative - "The young people and their parents today have made it clear to me that this project is a necessary one. They are simply craving for an input in this area, with the need to develop skills and utilise them for good.  I am really intereted to see how our Digital Champions impact our community whilst considerably helping themselves and their future job prospects."

Neil Martin, JLGB's Chief Executive, proud partners in the project said: Good Youth Social Action uses the double benefit principle: teaching young people valuable skills so that they can create real impact in their communities through their enhanced volunteering. Skilling up our youngsters to become digital champions is not only valuable it's vitally essential and the difference it could make for so many charities and their beneficiaries is astronomical!" 

 

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Young volunteers are honoured at the Yoni Jesner Awards 2015

The smallest gesture can have the biggest impact,” said Marsha Gladstone, Director of the Yoni Jesner Foundation and mother of Yoni Jesner, the 19 year old student killed in Israel in 2002.

More than 200 people joined together at the Yoni Jesner Awards ceremony, coordinated by the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) and the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN), to honour 120 young people (11-14 years) from across the Jewish community for their volunteering efforts. The event was held on Thursday 2nd July at the Camden Centre. It is the largest inter-generational volunteering event in the Jewish community.

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Young volunteers are honoured at the Yoni Jesner Awards 2015

The smallest gesture can have the biggest impact,” said Marsha Gladstone, Director of the Yoni Jesner Foundation and mother of Yoni Jesner, the 19 year old student killed in Israel in 2002.

More than 200 people joined together at the Yoni Jesner Awards ceremony, coordinated by the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB) and the Jewish Volunteering Network (JVN), to honour 120 young people (11-14 years) from across the Jewish community for their volunteering efforts. The event was held on Thursday 2nd July at the Camden Centre. It is the largest inter-generational volunteering event in the Jewish community.

Guests of Honour including the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Mark Shooter, President of the Board of Deputies Jonathan Arkush and Marsha Gladstone (Yoni’s mother) praised the 120 young people from across the Jewish community for their volunteering efforts.

The Award scheme enables young people to volunteer and record and their 20 hours of volunteering through the JLGB evolve system (funded by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation).  This award is supported by the Yoni Jesner Foundation, the UJIA, the Children’s Aid Committee (CAC )and the Jewish Youth Fund. Many of the volunteers who had completed 50 hours of volunteering were given the special Yoni Jesner Award Plus.

Gia Nathan, evolve Project Manager, told the audience: “The Yoni Jesner Award is a fantastic introduction to volunteering for young people, but it is just the beginning. We hope all the award recipients have been inspired to continue to volunteer, through the Duke of Edinburgh Award – the next step in the evolve journey.”

The Award recipients included students from the Hasmonean High School, Immanuel College, JCoSS, JFS, King David High School (Liverpool), King Solomon High School and Yavneh College.

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